In taking over the Chairmanship from Jim Parke, I am very conscious of his achievements over the last four years, in particular researching and applying to the Blue Plaque Board for D’Arcy Dalton to be acknowledged for his great contributions: being a founder member of OFS, with roles from assistant secretary to Honorary Secretary over a period of more than 50 years; his involvement with CPRE as Chairman; and attending Court to ensure that to the footpaths of Oxfordshire remained open. Thank you, Jim, for all the work which this involved. He and I have swapped roles as he is now Walks Organiser and I am sure he will do an excellent job.

As we walk along the footpaths around the county, I have become aware that there are a considerable number of stiles that are less than adequate. The Society, therefore, has funded gates on the OxfordshireWay,(Waterstock and Fawley) as well as at North Leigh. Nick Moon, in surveying the Oxfordshire Way for a new edition of a guidebook, has already pinpointed more which need replacing. New gates replacing broken stiles, enable easier access so more people can enjoy the countryside, especially those with limited mobility. The Society is a registered charity and one of the obligations of a charity is that it should provide ‘public good’. So I trust that in the years to come we will see many more gates on walks with plaques indicating that they were donated by OFS. This will, incidentally, act as further publicity for the Society. If you know of any stiles which need replacing then please don’t hesitate to let me or one of the committee know.